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K2 OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

K2 is #11 ranked solution in BPM Software. IT Central Station users give K2 an average rating of 8 out of 10. K2 is most commonly compared to Nintex Workflow:K2 vs Nintex Workflow. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 25% of all views.
What is K2?

K2's process automation platform helps your company grow and take automation to a new level. Tackle any business problem—large or small—and create an app to solve it, without writing lines of code.

K2 was previously known as K2 blackpearl, K2 Five.

K2 Buyer's Guide

Download the K2 Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

K2 Customers

SEA Corp, Omnicom Group, Verizon, STIHL

K2 Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about K2 pricing:
  • "The initial investment in K2 is heavy. Currently, the expenditure is $28,000 for a year. After we go to the cloud, it is going to be per seat and probably cheaper. Currently, there are unlimited users."
  • "There is an initial fee when purchasing and a fee for maintenance afterward."

K2 Reviews

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SK
Program Manager - Intelligent Automation at a engineering company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Doesn't require customized coding but lacks flexibility and can feel cumbersome

Pros and Cons

  • "Out of box connectivity with UiPath."
  • "Heavy, cumbersome and inflexible."

What is our primary use case?

We have predominantly been using the solution as the front end for automation solutions. I'm a program manager. We don't have a direct link to K2, but we work closely with them and carry out a lot of maintenance and other work through them. So it's quite a deep-rooted relationship.

What is most valuable?

The biggest selling point for us was that the solution had out of box connectivity with UiPath and we didn't have to write any custom code to be able to invoke UiPath bots and automation solutions. That worked well for us in the past but when you talk about other specific functionalities, like the applications or authentication on native operating systems for mobiles and those kinds of things, K2 is lacking big time. The solution doesn't really have a good set up and I think as more and more businesses want app rather than desktop systems or web systems, K2 is not necessarily the best solution going forward.

What needs improvement?

The solution is heavy and cumbersome and it has a very stringent way of doing things. It's not difficult but at the same time it's not flexible enough. If you don't do it properly, you can't render it on mobile properly and it just runs into a lot of issues. I think what we need is a more flexible platform that can actually give us that option, a second option or a main option, to move away from K2. We run into issues at times and it's mainly around the way we design applications and mainly around how we want to use applications. It restricts us in a very specific way to be able to fully utilize the capability. I think K2 is a bit far from being a perfect mobile development platform. We'd like to look at Microsoft as an option.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is a kind of dependent thing. Essentially, it would require infrastructure and IT development to be able to do anything with the infra scalability or the platform scalability. We haven't tried it. We do know that when we want to sync up different environments, it's not that straightforward. I mean it's not complex, but it has a lot of activities. It's not a straight sync up between the two servers. You have to do a lot of tasks including download packages. It's a bit annoying because it takes up too much time from the ops team to be able to sync the two environments, especially when you're uploading packages that at times are not compatible. Again, it could be dependent on the way we've set it up on-prem. I don't necessarily know if that's a K2 issue or if it's an infra issue on our end, but assume it's likely both.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't dealt with technical support because our ops team does that if they ever have to.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a massive fan of K2 even though it's given me a bit of trouble in the past. Essentially, I think there are good features in there as well. It really comes down to your personal requirements, I believe. It's supposed to be a kind of designer-based application, work flow creation application or platform but I personally think that it takes a lot more technical ability to be able to design applications on K2. It requires more than somebody off the street, you need someone who can actually do a bit of design work and be able to spin up a really good application. It's not marketed properly, it's marketed as a designable application platform. But it's not necessarily, it requires a bit of programming knowledge.

The other thing I guess would be whether you want to pay for the licensing cost. There is a price for the K2 environment, does that suit you and your organization? That's something which you need to consider. Finally, K2 is also really hard to find, to be honest, and it comes at a premium so there's that maintenance cost as well or even development costs, which may be a lot higher than any other application that you may use. 

It's given us applications that are stable once you get it right. We haven't had many issues in terms of applications falling over or not responding, things like that. It can be a bit slow if it's database-intensive applications. Again, that could be a mixture of both infrastructure and also K2 application.

I would rate this solution a six out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
TI
Principal Consultant at pure method
Real User
Top 20
A low-code solution that saves a lot of time and resources and has the best workflow engine and SmartObjects technology

Pros and Cons

  • "The workflow engine of K2 is its main strength. Its workflow engine is probably one of the best, and that's the reason why Nintex bought K2. It can clearly handle any complex process or scenario. K2 is almost low-code. It is a no-code or low-code solution. You don't have to read a whole lot of code. It is pretty much GUI based. Their support is also excellent. The biggest advantage of K2 is SmartObjects, which allow you to separate the data from the application. It is a standalone application that allows you to build a data source from different places, which a lot of other applications also do. It is called SmartObjects technology, which is pretty powerful. If I have data from different applications, such as JD and ServiceNow, I can just create a SmartObject based on a data source and use it. I have some forms that have six, seven, or eight applications in a single form with data from different places."
  • "K2 is a workflow solution, and there is no RPA solution with K2. This is where K2 lacks a little bit. It is just a heavy workflow solution. It doesn't have a supplemental product like RPA. If you want to use RPA, you have to use Blue Prism, UIPath, or something else. If you use Nintex, it has an RPA solution. It is a form-based application, and they are doing everything electronically. The initial investment in K2 is heavy because it is a BPM software. It does not have a low cost because they charge you the same for one workflow or 100 workflows."

What is our primary use case?

We are currently using K2 Five classic. We have several use cases. The main use case is the vendor request. We process all requests that come in from existing or new vendors through K2. Our legal department uses it for checklists and other things. The approval process, onboarding, and all other related things are also done through K2. It is used for onboarding, termination, suspension, access, and many other things. All these things are automated.

How has it helped my organization?

It is for process automation, and it saves a lot of time and resources. Some of the things used to take weeks, and now they can be done in days and hours. Previously, we needed a spreadsheet, and now everything is done through a form. Everything is automatic, and eventually, the returns are pretty good.

What is most valuable?

The workflow engine of K2 is its main strength. Its workflow engine is probably one of the best, and that's the reason why Nintex bought K2. It can clearly handle any complex process or scenario.

K2 is almost low-code. It is a no-code or low-code solution. You don't have to read a whole lot of code. It is pretty much GUI based. Their support is also excellent.

The biggest advantage of K2 is SmartObjects, which allow you to separate the data from the application. It is a standalone application that allows you to build a data source from different places, which a lot of other applications also do. It is called SmartObjects technology, which is pretty powerful. If I have data from different applications, such as JD and ServiceNow, I can just create a SmartObject based on a data source and use it. I have some forms that have six, seven, or eight applications in a single form with data from different places.

What needs improvement?

K2 is a workflow solution, and there is no RPA solution with K2. This is where K2 lacks a little bit. It is just a heavy workflow solution. It doesn't have a supplemental product like RPA. If you want to use RPA, you have to use Blue Prism, UIPath, or something else. If you use Nintex, it has an RPA solution. 

It is a form-based application, and they are doing everything electronically. The initial investment in K2 is heavy because it is a BPM software. It does not have a low cost because they charge you the same for one workflow or 100 workflows.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for seven years. I also used to work for K2.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is used across the board. Almost everyone in the accounting department uses this solution. We also have a bunch of different legal departments, and they also use it. It is being used from the bottom to all the way up. When someone submits a request, it can go to the VP and all the way up. Because it is an approval process, it depends on how high it goes.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is excellent.

How was the initial setup?

The on-premises setup was fairly complex four years ago because we had to build the servers. You have to build test servers, staging and production environments, and all kinds of stuff. When you go for the cloud solution, you don't have to maintain any of those, which is why we are moving to the cloud solution. Our initial investment was quite a bit, and we're trying to move to the cloud solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The initial investment in K2 is heavy. Currently, the expenditure is $28,000 for a year. After we go to the cloud, it is going to be per seat and probably cheaper. Currently, there are unlimited users.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate K2 an eight out of ten as a BPM solution. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Learn what your peers think about K2. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
553,954 professionals have used our research since 2012.
DH
Automation Team Lead at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Stable and easy to use with good integration capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "The integration capabilities have been very useful."
  • "The Workflow Designer needs improvement."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution as a development platform.

What is most valuable?

The solution in general is very easy to use. It's very user-friendly, and it has satisfied the requirements I have. 

It's a really good platform. 

The integration capabilities have been very useful. It's very powerful and very advanced.

The stability of the product is quite good.

What needs improvement?

The Workflow Designer needs improvement. For example, when you design a workflow on K2, it shows the entire area between one action and another action. However, you should be able to see the structure for this action. It's not automatically structured.

It sould be automatically structured from the shared action to the following action. In K2, you should be able to organize it by yourself. Workflows should be very easy to organize exactly as you need them. It shouldn't be inflexible. The mapping processes need to be better.

You can't really change the look and feel. You should be able to customize the solution a bit more.

The document generation, the dynamic document generation, could be a great addition as a feature.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've only been using the solution for six months. It hasn't been that long just yet, however, I am enjoying the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product doesn't seem to have many limitations. It can likely scale well. 

How are customer service and technical support?

There's no need for technical support as we order services done for us. As far as it's from K2 goes, there's a web solution on the platform and there are partners for the company. Up until this point, however, I haven't found the need to reach out. I haven't had problems that required assistance.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I worked with Nintex for a few years. Recently, after I ran a comparison between K2 and Nintex, I've been working for six months on the K2 platform. I've found it very useful, and very easy in comparison. However, I still use both. Nintex acquired K2 recently.

How was the initial setup?

Compared to Nintex, Nintex is easier to set up. Unlike in K2, in Nintex, you can just build on top of SharePoint. If you want SharePoint, the environment is set up and can install directly in Nintex. In K2, you are configuring two environments. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am unsure of the exact pricing. Nintex acquired K2 in 2020 and there may be a shift in the cost structure. I can't speak directly to that, however.

What other advice do I have?

We are a K2 customer and a Nintex partner, although, since the 2020 acquisition, they are the same company now.

I would recommend the solution, especially for companies that are working to go paperless.

I suggest that if they want to integrate between systems from a strategy department into another department, to really look at the integration layers that they have, as it's very advanced.

In general, I would rate this solution at a nine out of ten. We've been largely happy with the product.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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FE
Technology Unit Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good performance, easy to use, and offers great integration capabilities

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution offers very good integration capabilities. We've never had issues integrating it without solutions."
  • "The licensing needs to be improved. Right now, we find it's getting more expensive to use the product."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for government and public e-services. We always deal with K2 in these areas. We use the solution to mostly deal with workflows.

What is most valuable?

The design and the vision the solution allows for is great. 

It's gotten better with time. version 4.6, for example, wasn't the best but 5.4 and 5.6 continue to be a bit fancier and offer up a bit more. The improvements are great.

The enhancements, overall, are great. It's so easy to use compared to the competition. Its enhanced usability makes it the best of the lot.

We are able to use K2 to manage as our environment and have everything deployed to the servers.

The performance of the product is excellent.

The solution offers very good integration capabilities. We've never had issues integrating it without solutions.

What needs improvement?

Even though the performance is better than the competition, it needs to be enhanced and improved upon. They could always refine this a bit more.

The licensing needs to be improved. Right now, we find it's getting more expensive to use the product.

The K2 platform could be enhanced.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have approximately six years of experience working with this solution. It's probably been a bit more than that, actually.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can definitely scale the solution. K2 has a feature that allows it to go with other solutions quite well. It's the best option for companies that need a solution that can scale due to the fact that it can integrate with many systems.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with customer service in the past and they were satisfactory. They are very good and very easy to work with. We haven't had any trouble in that regard.

How was the initial setup?

Largely, the initial setup is straightforward. It's not too complex.

The deployment of the product takes two or three days. In terms of the workflow, it can be implemented in about one week. Overall, you can go live within two or three weeks.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing is quite extensive. I cannot speak to whether it is cheaper or more expensive, however, the licensing model needs to be reimagined and revised. Overall, I've found that they've become more expensive over time.

What other advice do I have?

We have a partnership with K2.

All in all, I'd recommend the product to other organizations.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. If the pricing was better, I'd probably rate it higher, however, their licensing model has changed and things are more expensive than they used to be.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
AI
Chief Information Officer at a construction company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 10
Very simple to maintain and develop with customization an easy process

Pros and Cons

  • "Easily maintained and customization is quite simple."
  • "Difficult to include external partners with the solution deployed on-premise."

What is our primary use case?

Our use case of the solution is to help the sales people in the field, enable them to have all the information from the backend and to more easily put together a proposal for management regarding new tenants of shopping centers. There is a process that flows to the works department, the legal department, the asset manager, and the project manager. They are able to make suggestions, comment, discuss numbers, and make some declarations. It provides good feedback to the management who then need to make a decision. We provide this service for both internal and external clients. We're a customer of K2blackpearl and I'm the company chief information officer. 

What is most valuable?

The value of this solution is that it's easy to maintain, and to further develop. It's quite low code, so there is not the need of really specialized people and customization is quite simple. 

What needs improvement?

I think there can be improvements in the product but that may be linked to the decisions that we have taken to put it on-premise, because now we're making big changes and the scope of the project has changed so that we now want external partners to have access to the system. Because we're on-premise, it's more complicated to provide access to their own network. Next time I would go for the cloud. 

For how long have I used the solution?


I've been using this solution for about three years now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is good, no issue there.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. We implemented it in Belgium and then in France and we're now expanding the scope further.  

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't needed to contact technical support as we work directly with the integrator. 

How was the initial setup?

I believe the initial deployment took about three months. We used an integrator to help with that and it was successful. They provided some training for us so we'd be able to figure out how to do things ourselves. It was great. 

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest to anyone wanting to deploy this solution to find a good integrator that understands the business first, not only from the technical side. Don't hesitate to take the journey. I would also suggest starting with a small solution and then expand it. Like everything, do a minimum viable product and then extend it a bit more slowly and grow into it.  

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
RR
System Manager at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
No code, stable, and has good support

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of this solution are that it's no code, it's very flexible, and it's easy to design."
  • "Currently, it's taking quite some time to deploy a package, it needs improvement"

What is our primary use case?

Our searches are automated for the approval process, and we have automated our dual management process with K2.

We have 41 processes automated within K2.

It was only a process automation tool for workflows and approval, but now since being bought out by Nintex, we will have many other products available to use. For example, the RPA part of Nintex can plug into K2 and be used together.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are that it's no code, it's very flexible, and it's easy to design.

What needs improvement?

Currently, it's taking quite some time to deploy a package, it needs improvement. If they can simplify the deployment then it would be helpful. 

I would like to see a versioning tool included within K2 similar to Visual Studio to do your versioning of programs. It would be very useful and assist us a lot.

If they could also include an RPA as a tool, or integrate it with RPA products. It would be beneficial, as we wouldn't have to purchase anything else.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using K2 for eight years.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution. It is one of the features I like most.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable product. We have approximately 4,000 AD users for this solution in our organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had no problems with the technical support at all.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we used Lotus Notes for workflows and approvals. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward.

I have a development team of four people on safety.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There is an initial fee when purchasing and a fee for maintenance afterward.

It is not an expensive solution.

What other advice do I have?

We have plans to continue using this solution and I would definitely recommend it.

I would rate K2 an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.